Members of Stevenage Liberal Synagogue planted a tree to commemorate the coronation and mark the festival of Tu BiShvat.

Synagogue members were joined by Mayor Cllr Myla Arceno, Deputy Mayor Cllr Jim Brown and Cllr Simon Speller in a field at the rear of Hampson Park Community Centre on Thursday, January 25.

In 2022, Rosalind Redwood contacted the synagogue council to suggest they plant a tree to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II's Jubilee.

Unfortunately the Queen died before this plan could be put into action, and they decided to instead plant a tree to mark King Charles's coronation - delaying the planting to coincide with Tu BiShvat.

Cllr Speller, who arranged the planting with the Stevenage Works Department, had discovered that a young Jewish girl, Muriel, had been evacuated to Stevenage twice during the war and was fostered by two different families.


She was mentioned by name during the ceremony, and the tree was dedicated in her memory.

After shovelling leaves and twigs onto the newly-planted trees, Linda Paice held a short service explaining Tu BiShvat and reading prayers taken from Siddur lev Chadash.

Tu BiShvat is also called Rosh HaShanah La'Ilanot, which translates to 'New Year of the Trees'. Trees are planted on the day to raise ecological awareness.